Are the Hawks thinking about making any big trades like Boston and San Jose just did? I mean we really need an All-Star scorer. Is there one in the future of this club or is that wishful thinking? --John Clennon, Chicago
John, GM Dale Tallon would have liked to have gotten in the Joe Thornton chase, but Boston pulled the trigger too quick and to be honest, the Bruins wanted players that could play now and I'm not sure there were enough players on the Hawks current roster that excited them. Trades for players like Thornton don't come around very often and I think in the long-run, the Bruins will regret this trade like the Hawks regret trading Jeremy Roenick. Those kind of players are hard to find. Tallon said he's committed to finding more skill and I think this team will look different by March than it does now.
What do you think of the new NHL? --Will Schwenn, Chicago
Will, I like it. A lot. It's a much more entertaining game to watch than a couple years ago. I don't have a problem with the power plays because eventually the players will realize that they can't put their sticks on opponents anymore. I hope the league maintains the current standard. The notion that you can't hit anyone today is ridiculous, there are more big hits than I can remember. You just can't hit players with your stick or if they don't have the puck--the way it's supposed to be. Sticks are meant for passing and shooting, not defending. If guys can't grasp that, they'll need to find a new league to play in. I just hope the league doesn't let the standard slowly slip away.
Tuomo Ruutu has had plenty of time to heal a sore back. When is he going to return or are they not telling us how severe his injury is? Thanks Bob! --Craig Conklin, Las Vegas
Craig, Ruutu hasn't even started skating yet. He won't begin skating until the pain is completely gone, then he'll go through some strengthening exercises, then to the ice. There is no timetable on when he'll be back.
It's the same problem each year. Maybe it's not the players, but the coaching. Where's the power play? --Frank MacRae, Bloomingdale, Ill.
Frank, I won't argue that the power play philosophy may be flawed, but there also isn't a whole lot of skill on this team right now. The lack of skill is there biggest problem.
Will Bill Wirtz ever reconcile with Bobby Hull? There would be nothing better for the team and fans than to see old No. 9 sitting in the front row or working as an ambassador for the Hawks. --Jim Johnson, Fishers, Ind.
Jim, there has been a bit of a détente. Hull has been to some Hawk functions but I would doubt if he would ever work for the team in any official capacity.